The incidents during the Euro final on July 11, when hundreds of ticketless English fans invaded Wembley stadium, could have caused deaths, concluded an independent report published on Friday, highlighting a "failure collective ”to anticipate risks.
UEFA had imposed a closed-door match and a suspended sentence on England, as well as a fine of 100,000 euros on the English Federation, due to the violent behavior of English fans before and during the final of the Euro 2020 lost against Italy.
2,000 people forcibly entered the stadium
Hundreds of supporters without tickets had forced the doors of Wembley Stadium to watch the match, and videos posted on social networks had shown violent attacks in the halls of the stadium.
An independent report led by Baroness Louise Casey said on Friday that in total, some 2,000 people had forcibly entered the stadium.
Without naming those responsible, the report concludes that there was a "collective failure to anticipate the risks" posed by this match organized on July 11.
He denounces the behavior of a "large minority of English supporters", some under the influence of drugs or alcohol, who "recklessly put lives in danger" and who "could have resulted in injury or even death" .
Incidents during the final of Euro 2020: a "collective failure" which could have caused deaths, according to a report https://t.co/OuD0Ch5LPT pic.twitter.com/wsXGCoEaFV
- LesoirSports (@LesoirSports) December 3, 2021
A lack of experienced security guards due to the pandemic in the face of a crowd of more than 6,000 particularly aggressive ticketless supporters, an absence of fan zones to celebrate England's first qualification in a major final since 1966, a countries emerging from months of coronavirus restrictions ... These factors, and others, have helped create a chaotic situation, the report said.
In her conclusions, Casey suggests that the government create a special category of matches of national significance, where safety and restrictions on alcohol consumption would be tightened.
It also recommends tougher penalties for anyone involved in football-related incidents and further efforts to eradicate hooliganism and racism in the sport.
After the defeat of the England team to Italy, black players Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford had been the target of an avalanche of racist attacks on social networks.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson then announced his intention to ban supporters who uttered racist insults online from the stadium.
A historic evening that could have turned into a nightmare
Reacting to the report's release, England Football Association (FA) chief executive Mark Bullingham said "fully accept his findings", reiterating the FA's apologies "for the terrible experience many suffered at Wembley during of what should have been a historic evening ”.
He assured that the lessons learned from this review "will give fans a good experience at major international events at Wembley, as they have done for many years."
The London Metropolitan Police have also expressed their "regret not having been able to do more to prevent these scenes from taking place".
She said in a statement that police and security officers had faced "unprecedented challenges and unacceptable levels of violence."